As first reported by Island Echo, fire crews from across the Island were mobilised to the West Wight at just before 18:00 when smoke was reported coming from an area of gorse land near to The Needles Landmark Attraction.
30 firefighters from Freshwater, Newport, Yarmouth, Cowes, East Cowes and Ventnor were all involved in tackling the blaze, which at its height saw 6 appliances, 2 water carriers and the Incident Command Unit on scene. 2 officers were also mobilised to act as a tactical advisor and monitoring officer.
It’s thought that the heat from the recently-used BBQs set fire to hillside bushes, which quickly spread. Thankfully, the actions of the first crews on scene contained the fire and stopped it spreading to a residential property on the hilltop, into the nearby tourist attraction and into grazing land.
Friends of Freshwater Fire Station have taken to social media to say:
“It is so important that these disposable BBQs are used and disposed of sensibly. This foolish action could have cost untold damage and ruined lives. Please people, look after this beautiful island of ours, one small bbq meant 6 fire engines, 2 water carriers, one police unit and 30 firefighters were tied up on this incident today”.
Area Manager Dan Tasker of Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service has praised the quick response of the Island’s crews, who prevented the fire from developing into something much worse.
Islanders are being advised against the use of disposable BBQs in this hot period, with temperatures reaching and exceeding 30c in some locations – particularly in the West Wight.
For more information about protecting the countryside, visit https://www.hantsfire.gov.uk/keeping-safe/atleisure/in-the-countryside/.